By Jack Rico
*Updated: October, 2017
How many times have you decided to stay at home and watch a movie with your other half, your buddies or even some acquaintances and have had no clue of what to pick? There are so many films to choose from that the selection process can become overwhelming. If you are not an avid movie watcher and you pick a favorite go-to of yours, you run the risk of the #epicfail choice and they’ll never trust your judgement again. This is why I am going to be your best friend in this cinematic adventure by giving you the Best Netflix Streaming Movies To Watch Right Now. I have taken the onerous task to go through as many films as my eyes could withstand to narrow down these selections by genre and perfect for any mood.
With the limited amount of movies in Netflix’s streaming service, (4,622 films from what I last saw), one’s options to choose great films over the mundane is a rarity… but not impossible. For example, I pay $7.99 a month and I’m more than satisfied with what it offers. Why? Because I’ve plowed through their vast archives and have discovered a plethora of masterpiece classics and contemporary Oscar winning films that you can view this instant. To facilitate the process, I’ve categorized the films into a variety of genres: Family, Thrillers, Action, Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi/Adventure, Romance, Drama, Classics. I’ve also highlighted my top personal choices per genre and have given you an extra quality amount of “winning” options you should be more than satisfied with. If you don’t see a genre you’re particularly fond of, leave your comment below and I’ll go ahead and add it. Enjoy… seriously. You need a break!
It Follows (2015, 94m, Director David Robert Mitchell / Maika Monroe, Jake Weary)
This is one of the highest rated horror films on Rotten Tomatoes with an insane 97%. This is a modern horror film that manages to be stylish, scary with a haunting musical score. It starts slow, but then it gets going and the end result is what you were looking for this Halloween Weekend.
Other Horror suggestions: The Babadook, The Human Centipede, Hush, V/H/S 1-2, SAW 1-7, Coraline, Starry Eyes, The Den, Hellraiser, The Awakening, Teeth
Horror Family: Goosebumps,, Coprse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Scary Movie 2-3
Nightcrawler (2014, 1hr 57m, Director: Dan Gilroy / Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo)
Dan Gilroy’s dark and twisted crime journalism film, Nightcrawler, is a creepy, uncomfortable watch, but one that sees Jake Gyllenhaal not only give us the best performance of his career, but he embarks us on an extraordinary and morbid story that is both warped and mesmerizing. A young hustler gets sucked into the sordid but lucrative business of trolling the streets of Los Angeles to film fires, car crashes — and murder. Gilroy’s filmmaking skills are to be admired. He produces a well paced, efficient film where no scenes are really wasted. Every sequence pushes the story forward leading to a final third act which might be one of the best third act sequences of 2014. If you’re looking for a dose of the unexpected, you’re in for a treat!
Other Thriller suggestions: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Zodiac, The Invitation, The Hateful Eight, Following, Victoria, Exam, The Two Faces of January, Lucky Number Sleven, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Oldboy, The Sixth Sense, Basic Instinct, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy, All Good Things, The Road
SCIENCE FICTION / ADVENTURE
The Matrix (1999, 2hr 16m, Director: The Wachowski Brothers / Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss)
The Matrix Trilogy, the timeless movie franchise that changed the film industry, is now streaming on Netflix. Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving, a computer hacker searches for the truth behind the mysterious force known as the Matrix. He discovers that what most people perceive as reality is actually a simulation created by machines and joins a rebellion to break free. This Wachowski Brothers masterpiece created a plethora of copycats that still influence movies today. This classic has one of the great plots in film history. Many psychedelic fans today swear it holds a profound meaning of life after viewing it under the influence. Whatever its interpretation, The Matrix is the reason we love the movies.
Other Sci-Fi suggestions: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Donnie Darko, These Final Hours, Stake Land
While We’re Young (2014, 102m, Director Noah Baumbach / Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver)
Noah Baumbach is known for being one hell of a clever and philosophical writer. His films are usually exploring some sort of existential change in a person’s life and that notion is no more evident than in While We’re Young. A middle-aged couple’s career and marriage are overturned when they meet a disarming young couple who enters their lives. Apart form the wonderful performances from the cast, the script echoes the lives of many 40’ish adults who will see themselves reflected, even etched, into these characters who might be more proxys than fictional story characters.
Other Comedy suggestion in subgenres:
Action Comedies: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Adventures in Babysitting, Hot Fuzz, I Love You, Man, Miss Congeniality, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, ‘The Good, The Bad, The Weird’, Silver Streak, License to Drive, Police Academy
Smart Comedies: Frances Ha, Best In Show, Tiny Furniture, The Trip to Italy, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, Adult World,
LOL Comedies: Tropic Thunder, Mean Girls
Dark Comedies: Pulp Fiction, Catfight, The Beaver, Gremlins, Marguerite, Seeking A Friend For The End of the World, The Overnight, Moonrise Kingdom, The Double, Heathers, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Heathers, John Dies at the End
Other Action suggestions: Doctor Strange, V for Vendetta, Armageddon, Ong-Bak 2, The Legend of Drunken Master,
Other Romance suggestions: Southside with You, 5 to 7, Two Girls and a Guy, Twilight, Blue is the Warmest Color, Adore, Take This Waltz, Never Let Me Go, No Reservations, Barefoot in the Park
Romantic Comedies: Sleeping With Other People, 13 Going on 30, The Switch, Must Love Dogs, Can’t Buy Me Love, Bridget Jones Diary, Grease, Amelie, Drinking Buddies, Picture Perfect, The Heartbreak Kid, 2 Days In New York, Take Care
The Immigrant (R, 2 hr, 2014, Director James Gray / Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Renner)
I can’t believe that this top-flight drama didn’t get the attention it deserves. Blame ‘The Weinstein Company’ for the bad marketing. Showcasing an Oscar cast, The Immigrant is another fantastic film from the adroit director James Gray. His natural skill to delve deep into a story and provide beautiful visuals and powerful performances from his actors makes this movie a richly rewarding period drama. A Polish immigrant in New York who must provide for her ill sister soon falls under the thumb of a charming thug who forces her into prostitution. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, a sublime old-fashioned melodrama played with superb naturalistic emotion. It is complex and nuanced and a deeply affecting tale of morality and survival in 1920’s New York. You’ll be impressed that it is streaming on Netflix!
Other Drama suggestions: Eyes Wide Shut, Dangal, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Christine, Boyhood, Babel, Schindler’s List, Phenomenon, Milk, Quiz Show, Clouds of Sils Maria, The Five Heartbeats, Hoffa, Downfall, Yves Saint Laurent, The Place Beyond the Pines, Match, Waking Life, The Queen, Spotlight, Chicago, The Prestige, Trouble with the Curve, The Finest Hours, The Imitation Game, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Rounders, Forrest Gump, On Golden Pond, Alive, Lucky Them, Experimenter, Changeling, Promised Land, Fruitvale Station, Bronson, Full Metal Jacket, My Left Foot
Dramedies: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), Boogie Nights, Dear White People, Don’t Think Twice, The Big Short, Magic Mike, Begin Again, The Bucket List, Sing Street, Max Rose
Other Family suggestions: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Queen of Katwe, The Jungle Book (live-action), BFG, The Little Prince, Pete’s Dragon, HUGO, Dolphin Tale, Batteries Not Included, Chicken Run, Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, The Emperor’s New Groove, Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World, Corpse Bride, Antz, Finding Dory, The Parent Trap, Bee Movie, Paddington, Kung Fu Panda 3, High School Musical 1&2, The Iron Giant, Zootopia, Trolls, The Secret Life of Pets, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Cool Runnings, Holes
Sunset Boulevard (1950, 1hr 50m, Directors Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder / William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim)
Whenever you see a list of the best movies ever made, most likely Sunset Boulevard will be in that list. Winner of 3 Academy Awards, legendary director Billy Wilder gave us the definitive look at the dark side of Hollywood. The disturbing portrayal of Gloria Swanson, as Norma Desmond, an aging silent-film queen is almost unrivaled. The use of the word classic is for movies like this. A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former Hollywood silent-film star who has become delusional. There are masterful performances here to enjoy, the script is intense, absorbing and full of intrigue. If you’ve never seen this movie, you’re in for one hell of a treat.
Other Classic suggestions: Young Frankenstein, Metropolis, How to Steal a Million, To Kill a Mockingbird, Desk Set, White Christmas, Three Coins in the Fountain, The African Queen, The Day the Earth Stood Still
Do you think we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.